5 Legitimately Scary Literary Hallowe'en Costumes

Category: Reading

Hallowe'en preparations are in full swing at Scottish Book Trust Towers. The pumpkins are carved, the spooky snacks are set to go and all the office can talk about is that oh-so-important question, 'What are you dressing as for Hallowe'en?

Now as keen book lovers and serious Hallowe'en enthusiasts, we have two key criteria for a successful Hallowe'en costume: first, that the costume be related to books in some way, and second, that the costume be properly scary! After all, what's Hallowe'en without giving your pals a good fright?

Here's a taster of some of the best ideas we have heard for scary costumes that will impress your book-loving pals this Hallowe’en!

The Portrait of Dorian Gray from, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Most people would jump at the chance dress like the handsome and charismatic Dorian Gray for a fancy dress party, but we thought it would be much more fun to go as his creepy counterpart: the portrait in his attic! All you need for this costume is a nice suit, an old picture frame, and the goriest make up you can come up with. We recommend more boils, warts and wrinkles than you can shake a stick at. Make it extra gruesome by giving yourself a syphilitic zombie nose.

The Raven from ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe

A great costume for if you want to stay warm at Hallowe’en, why not ooze literary cool by going as Edgar Allan Poe’s eponymous raven? You can be as minimal or a full on with this costume as you like, or even go as a ‘sexy raven’ like this ridiculous one. I’m not sure they had Poe in mind when designing it. Bonus points for only speaking the words ‘Nevermore’ for the duration of Hallowe’en night.

Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephanie Meyer           

Think Dracula is scary? What could be more sinister than a vampire who is nearly a hundred years old but chooses to live through high school over and and over again? Dressing as the ultimate creeper is very simple. All you need is some serious bedhead (I recommend not brushing your hair for several days), a grey t shirt, and some glitter of course, for that oh-so-sparkly vampire skin! Terrifying!

Carrie from Carrie Stephen King   

Another one from the annals of teenage angst, Carrie is a perfect costume for if you want to make a real splash at Hallowe’en. Hell hath no fury like a prom queen scorned and covered in pig's blood, after all. Key items for this outfit include a prom dress of your choosing, a tiara and sash and a healthy dollop of fake blood, poured generously over your person.

Why not make this a couple’s costume by forcing your other half to dress entirely in black and move small objects near you to represent your telekinetic abilities? Spooooky.

Big Brother, from 1984 by George Orwell

Last but not least, what could be more chilling than an all-powerful fascist government regime that monitors your every move? Terrorise your friends by going as an undercover member of the thought police this Hallowe’en. Lurk in corners, watching groups and randomly accuse people of thoughtcrime and haul them off to the Ministry of Truth for processing.

Do you love a good literary Hallowe’en costume? What scary characters from literature would you love to dress as this Hallowe’en? Let us know in the comments below.


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